LOVE TRAVELS #LeanInToRelationships @rjhol7


#LeanInToRelationships is not only a diary of what he saw but also what he experienced. Cities have a unique charm and each traveller perceives it differently. For the author, this book has been a revelation of his own mind, thoughts and how his relations changed and grew. A travelogue, an introspective journey that is insightful as it is varied. The author has covered so many beautiful places and layers of feelings and emotions that one needs to stop and analyse the thoughts at times.

The visual treats with the descriptions of the places he visited as the author writes about them make it an interesting read. I was eager to know about all the places he visited on his trip. To stop, savor and introspect our actions makes each experience more alive.

Everything that we see, hear or feel, has layers, dimensions through which we can learn, grow and emerge anew. One doesn’t have to go to a meditation boot camp or intensive therapy sessions. Just sit amazed. Sit in delight. Sit easy. Let time flow. You sit.”

 The only issue I faced with the book is its editing and grammatical errors that stop this books from leaving a solid impact on the reader. The thoughts, ideas, and depth of the story are excellent sans the errors.

The book talks about love,  the path of love is never easy but not all love stories have happy endings. I asked the author about his travel and writing and how he manages the two. Read about it here.

Many just make us a better person. Zehen too has a lesson for himself in this book. Our mind is our strongest ally but it is also the one that plays tricks on us. The love story of Zehen and Maheeda reminded me of how our thoughts can influence our lives. No wonder, positive thinking is so powerful.  Zehen also realises the error of his thoughts when it is too late and cannot bring back Maheeda into his life. Their love is an ephemeral one but it leaves its mark.

The book has closure for Zehen in his acceptance and awareness. The conversations he has with his friends are his way of understanding what he did wrong and how is he changing and growing into a better person. The author has seamlessly woven his travels with his relationships. #LeanInToRelationships reads like an emotional journey, a travelogue that concentrates on the spiritual and emotional awareness.

“It is simply a larger view of the small love dramas of our life.”

Lean In To Relationships is exactly what the title conveys but uses travel as a medium for his thoughts. Our relationships, the good, solid ones, the best ones, the kind we can fall back upon are those that are our safety net. This is an honest and introspective book to be read and ruminated upon.


[bctt tweet=” Life and #LeanInToRelationships is exactly what the title conveys but uses travel as a medium for his thoughts. @rjhol7″ username=”indywrites”]


Blog Tour by The Book Club of LEAN IN TO RELATIONSHIPS by Rishabh Jhol



Rishabh Jhol

Blog Tour by The Book Club of LEAN IN TO RELATIONSHIPS by Rishabh Jhol



Doubt has pivoted many a relationship across the centuries. Whether it is Othello suspicious of Desdemona or through the rise of paranoia as a trope in twentieth century writings. While paranoia naturally suggests the vulnerability of individual mind to social rhetoric, it is also the space for deep interrogation of the individual that renders him/her to paranoia. This novel presents that doubt has the potential to be a space of liberation.

Madeeha works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees. Zehen, a political analyst from India, meets her in the US during their social impact program. He is intrigued and charmed by her, and falls deeply in love. But the world political climate, with its accompanying cultural narratives about terror and pain, infects Zehen’s mind. Zehen begins to suspect Madeeha as a possible mujahid. Will he find his truth? Fear doesn’t devastate; it stirs the inner pot. 

The novel uses Sufi philosophical terms to mark the journey to self-love and explores the tensions between Ishq-e- Mazizi (worldly love)and Ishq-e- Haqiqi (love for Divine). The novel uses the backdrops of various cities around the world to build its narratives – Cusco andLima in Peru, Petra/Aqaba/Amman/Jerash in Jordan, New York/Philadelphia/DC/Chicago/Seattle/San Francisco. The cultures within each of these cities inform and influence the story so that each city becomes a character themselves participating in empowerment andliberation of the main protagonist.

It is a tender love story that triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships – a delightful emancipation from social intrigues and cultural constraints.

Grab your copy @

Read an excerpt of #LeanInToRelationships here:

Zehen was experiencing sweet joy in his heart. Memories bustled in the head. When did he first see her? Zehen searched his head madly. Orientation session? Corridor to the classroom? However, he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the moment. A whirr of images, of moments, yet-to- be collaged. And a heart that already had a narrative, waiting to be inset.

We imagine that all romantic stories will have a sigh-worthy romantic beginning. But beginnings are when the heart awakens, when the soul remembers. A presence stills and emerges from the shadows of time.
His first memory was when she introduced herself in the class. They had gathered at Presidium University for a one-year course on Social Impact Leadership. Outside, the white fringe tree was laden with its grape-like fruits. The pine, oak and spruce waited for winter to tell the world how unchangeable they were. And the old Redwood stood proud like the institution itself. Inside, in the warm classroom, students from various cultures across the world had gathered. Icebreaker session was on and the usual round of introductions.
Introduction is a ritual. A cumbersome ritual. How does one reduce the tapestry of one’s entire existence, the colors, and the many weaves into a single palatable thread?

About the author

I was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one -room hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi.

It was a hot day in the month of March 1995. I was in standard 4th and had an examination the following day. As was regular in that locality, we didn’t have electricity that day. I couldn’t study or sleep properly. One of the watershed moments happened when I came back from school the next day. We had an inverter installed at home. I knew we couldn’t afford an inverter. But my dad was always convinced that the way out of poverty for our family is through education.
Despite an interest in creative writing, I chose to study a subject that society values more – Finance. Later, I got into one of the top colleges for finance in the country. My first salary out of college (in 2007, when I was 20 years old) was higher than that of my dad’s salary at the time.

When I was 24 years old, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents, great partner, close-knit group of friends, and career path that exceeded every goal. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sad either; but it never felt like my life. I had carefully and meticulously built that life though. Contextually, it was the safe thing to do.

Following year though, I had to deal with the loss of my 7¬year old relationship and of my 5¬year old job. My identity was crushed. My biggest lesson was that you can fail at what you don’t want, and what you consider safe; you might as well take a chance at what you truly want.

Next year, I got my ‘ideal’ job but walked away from it. Failure had taught me to be more ambitious and audacious. I had reached a point in my life where I wanted my work to have more meaningand to stand for something more important than myself.

I started a political consulting company to maneuver social ascendance of marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital. I primarily did topical research for MPs for their debates in the parliament and on TV shows. Partial project list includes:

• Providing 108 rape survivors with medical, legal, financial, and social support over six months through one of my client’s NGO

• Getting amendments passed in the communal violence bill that tackle systemic bias towards Muslims

• Helping three social entrepreneurs raise a combined total of INR 43 lakhs from their MP for community initiatives

 Along with running my own company, I focused on my passion for writing and traveling as well. I solo travelled to all seven wonders of the world, and did two-cross country trips by train in India and in the US. I have also written and published three fiction novels.

Stalk him @



  1. Kala Ravi

    Definitely an interesting read! It seems like a very different book. I like that the story is set against different backdrops, it creates for such an enriching and vivid reading experience. Adding to my tbr list.

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